The Mars Society launched today a Kickstarter campaign to help raise $27,500 for a new open-source virtual reality platform called MarsVR, which will be used for serious research to support the goal of sending humans to the Red Planet.
The MarsVR program will be a unique multi-phase effort designed to pioneer the emerging field of CrowdExploration, which we define as the partnership between the first astronauts on Mars and VR experts and enthusiasts back on Earth. The Mars Society aims to develop a special VR platform to assist with the initial human exploration of Martian landing sites.
Phase 1 of the MarsVR program will focus on designing training simulations for the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, providing direct assistance in preparing MDRS crew members for their analog research and testing. Since every moment at MDRS is valuable, just like actual astronauts working in space, the Mars Society wants its crew members to make the most of their time “on Mars.” Key elements of the platform will also be open-sourced so that the general public can freely make use of it to experience human Mars exploration.
As part of MarsVR, the Mars Society intends to build a high-resolution simulation of the entire MDRS habitat, both inside and out. To complete the experience, Mars Society staff will scan a one-square mile capture of the Mars-like terrain around MDRS using the latest photo-grammetry techniques. Funds raised beyond the $27,500 campaign goal will be used to expand the VR platform beyond the initial one-square mile capture to allow for a broader Mars experience for both crew and members of the public.
For full details about our MarsVR program and how to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign, please visit: MarsVR.io.